Effective Coupling in Biological Electron Transfer: Exponential or Complex Distance Dependence?

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Calculations for a simple model electron transfer system and tuna cytochrome c demonstrate a dichotomy in the distance dependence of the effective coupling.In one regime, the effective coupling varies exponentially with distance and depends primarily on the average properties of the bridging material; in the other regime, the effective coupling has a complex distance dependence and is more sensitive to the details of the bridging material. Experiments and theory indicate that both regimes may occur in biological systems, providing a perspective on a recent controversy over the nature of the distance dependence.

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